Phantasm II

Content with recycling the highlights of Don Coscarelli's 1979 cult favorite PHANTASM without ever establishing its own identity, this shockingly dull sequel only approaches the wild imagination and surreal horrors of the original. More a remake than a sequel, the film begins promisingly enough, with a well-crafted transition between 1979 footage and new...read more

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Content with recycling the highlights of Don Coscarelli's 1979 cult favorite PHANTASM without ever establishing its own identity, this shockingly dull sequel only approaches the wild imagination and surreal horrors of the original. More a remake than a sequel, the film begins promisingly

enough, with a well-crafted transition between 1979 footage and new material. The story picks up exactly where it left off, with young Mike (Michael Baldwin) being captured by the Tall Man (Angus Scrimm), a supernatural mortician with yellow embalming fluid in his veins. Years later, we see that

Mike has grown into an adult (played by James Le Gros) and has been in a mental hospital since the incident. He is finally released after he declares that all the events were hallucinations. What he doesn't tell the hospital authorities, however, is that he continues to believe everything that

happened was real. In addition, Mike has begun receiving psychic messages from a young woman (Paula Irvine) who shares his visions of the Tall Man and senses that the villain is still after them. Of course, the Tall Man's deadly flying silver spheres, dubbed the "Flying Cuisinarts" by some

critics, are back for the sequel and whiz about drilling people's brains out. The original PHANTASM was an inventive fever-dream, but the sequel, unfortunately, lacks that delirious youthful imagination. There are some memorable moments along the way--fleeting images scattered throughout the film

that have a cumulative effect--but when the shocks do come, they are mostly retreads of highlights from the first movie. Despite this rather mundane effort, however, Coscarelli continues to exhibit a glimmer of unique, personal cinematic vision--a rare commodity these days.

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  • Released: 1988
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Content with recycling the highlights of Don Coscarelli's 1979 cult favorite PHANTASM without ever establishing its own identity, this shockingly dull sequel only approaches the wild imagination and surreal horrors of the original. More a remake than a seq… (more)

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